Gion Matsuri Festival is one of the largest festivals in Japan, highlighted by the parade of floats. There are 2 parades, held on the July 17th and 24th annually, and many activities preceding the parades.
July 17 is the larger and busier of the 2 parades. Luckily I am in Kyoto on the weekend of July 23-24, so I experience the “smaller” crowd (but still a lot of people).
On the days before the parade (called yoiyama), lanterns are hung, people wear their yukatas, and food stalls line the streets.
Folding Screen Festival
Some of the old homes and merchants open doors to the public to showcase their heirlooms. This custom is the Folding Screen Festival. I read about it online, so I head out in the evening to see this.
If you look at my cover photo, you see 2 photographers looking into a wooden barred window. This is how most of the merchants display their heirlooms.